Many of us make resolutions at the beginning of a new year but discard them by the end of January because they’re too overwhelming. In fact, surveys show that every year, only a small percentage of people accomplish their New Year’s resolutions. But don’t worry: Resolutions can still work! The key is making things easy for yourself through motivation “hacks.”
For example, experts say that the trick to getting your resolutions to stick is to avoid vague promises with no plan. When making a New Year’s resolution, make sure it’s SMART—specific, measurable, attainable, results-focused and timely. Here’s what that looks like: Instead of setting a goal like “lose weight this year,” try something like “walk around my neighborhood on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays for 20 minutes in order to lose three pounds by February 23.” SMART goals like this can offers both long-term vision and short-term motivation.
Once you have your goals set, it’s time to learn some additional motivation hacks to make accomplishing them easier! Check out these ideas from Aspire’s Health Coaches.
Motivation Hack #1 – Shift your mindset
Making your resolutions stick often requires a shift in mindset, which can be helped by meditation. Try meditating following this example from Christian Echeverry:
“I find a quiet place, ideally outside, and set a timer for X minutes. I bring focus to my breath with an emphasis on longer exhales. I let go of any physical tension, and without judgement kindly let go of any thoughts and worries on my mind. I tune into the sounds of nature by listening for any birds, wind or subtle sounds of my surroundings. When the timer goes off, I end my practice with at least one statement of gratitude. Afterward, I notice I’m in a better mood and have an increased capacity for kindness toward others and myself.”
Motivation Hack #2 – Start small
Getting started is sometimes the hardest part of forming a new healthy habit. Our Health Coaches recommend starting small to make a big difference. Nicole Jurgens says allotting just five minutes toward your goals can help:
“Whether it’s exercising, packing a lunch, cooking dinner or even just getting some laundry done, I positively tell myself, ‘Just 5 minutes.’ Often 5 minutes turns into 10, or 20, and next thing you know I’m saying – ‘I’m so glad I did this for myself. I feel so much better.’ It’s empowering!”
Ruby Vargas recommends trying the same approach with exercise:
“Scheduling time to exercise in my busy schedule sometimes feels impossible. When I’m feeling this way, I simply try to move my body more by taking 2-minute fitness breaks. While at work or taking care of my family, I often find myself sitting for long periods of time, so every 30-60 minutes, I make a point to get up for two minutes to march in place, walk around or do some stretches. Fitness breaks make me feel great and prevent me from falling into a sedentary lifestyle.”
Motivation Hack #3 – Learn that less can be more
Sometimes when starting a new habit, it can be good to think about areas where you can do less. Health Coach Julian Echeverry explains how to embrace the idea of less is more in dieting by following the 80% rule.
“When enjoying a meal, I stop eating when I feel about 80% full. Research tells us that after eating a meal or snack, it takes about 20 minutes for satiety (or fullness) signals to reach your brain from your stomach. So, stopping at 80% fullness gives my brain time to catch up! More often than not, after the 20 minutes is up, I really am satisfied. It feels good not to over-do it, and I feel energized, rather than too full.”
Your Aspire Health Plan includes a wealth of resources to help you accomplish your health and wellness goals like:
- A no cost fitness club membership with access to local gyms and exercise classes
- Health coaches to assist with goal setting to map out your health journey
- Community Connections Classes on topics like goal setting and creating a vision for your life
If you’re looking to activate your health this year, we’re here to support you along the way.
Get connected to a free health coach at 831-644-7490. You can participate at a time and location that fits your busy lifestyle. Cheers to a new year full of choosing health and happiness!